Trailside Reader Adds Narrative Flavor to Pacific Crest - Humboldt State Now

Trailside Reader Adds Narrative Flavor to Pacific Crest

English Professor Corey Lewis and Rees Hughes are the editors of a new book, The Pacific Crest Trailside Reader, to benefit the Pacific Crest Trail. Both editors collaborated with a variety of authors to form a two-volume collection of stories about the trail.

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English Professor Corey Lewis takes students outside to set the scene for his Nature Writing course.

“Rees and I did this project out of our love for the trail,” Lewis said.

Hughes is the former director of Student Life at Humboldt State University.

“The stories are situated geographically along the trails,” Lewis said. If you happen to be hiking through the Marble Mountains, flip open the book and read from authors who wrote about the mountain range.

They began by researching immigrant journals to find stories by pioneers who had crossed the trail. Then, they collaborated with a diverse assortment of authors to get first hand testimonials about the trail.

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The cover of the new book, The Pacific Crest Trailside Readers, co-edited by HSU English Professor Corey Lewis.

Lewis said the stories are from people who have hiked a specific section of the 2,650-mile-long trail or had a run in with a bear, a specific illness, spiritual experience and more.

Students and faculty such as Professor Jim Dodge and English graduates Ryan Forsythe, Amanda Carter, Chris Hall and Anicca Cox have pieces in the book. Readers will also be pleased to find contributors like Mark Twain, John Muir, Barry Lopez and Ursula LeGuin. Each contributing author donated his or her trail tale.

“Creative writing and literature can help benefit the ecosystem, people and places,” Lewis explained. All author proceeds go directly to the trail. Constant upkeep, environmental protection and resource management are needed to keep the trail maintained.

“We wanted to create a book that could stand as a testament for the trail,” Lewis said. Hughes and Lewis didn’t discuss what they were going to do with the profits from the books. “We just knew we would give it back to the trail,” Lewis said. The pre‐sale of the books generated over $4,000 for the trail, according to Lewis.

Lewis and Hughes will be hosting a series of readings from The Pacific Crest Trailside Reader: